The FDA has issued new guidelines for lowering sodium intake in order to reduce heart disease deaths.
On Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration issued a guideline requesting that food makers and commercial food producers reduce sodium levels by 12% within a two-and-a-half-year time frame.
The FDA stated in a guidance document that “this guidance is intended to provide measurable voluntary short-term (2.5-year) goals for sodium content in commercially processed, packaged, and prepared foods to reduce excess population sodium intake while recognizing and supporting the important roles sodium plays in food technology and food safety.”
According to the FDA, salt is pre-added to the majority of foods Americans eat and accounts for 70% of their total intake, making it difficult for people to lower their sodium intake on their own. As a result, the goal is for food producers and manufacturers to reduce emissions on their own.
On a media call Wednesday, Susan Mayne, director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, stated, “We know that cutting salt in your diet is difficult to achieve on your own because nearly 70% of the sodium we eat comes from processed, packaged, and prepared foods.”
The FDA expects that by putting pressure on firms, they would be pushed in the correct direction.
The new recommendation’s principal purpose is to lower heart disease rates. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “heart disease is the top cause of mortality for men, women, and persons of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States.”
To prevent individuals from opting for a higher salt choice, the FDA understands that sodium reduction must be gradual across the whole food supply.
In a statement, the National Restaurant Association said it plans to work with the FDA to reduce sodium consumption and “continues to give options to suit consumers’ wishes and health concerns.”
Although the recommended daily sodium consumption is 2,300 mg, a 12% reduction in sodium intake would reduce daily sodium intake from 3,400 to 3,000 milligrams.
The FDA intends to keep track of progress, but the new guidance isn’t legally mandatory.